Ariana Grande may not be an Unheard Gem, but we have to talk about her new single, 7 Rings. Besides being accused of copying Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy, and 2 Chainz, the song promotes an inauthentic message and relies heavily on black culture.
I get that this song is supposed to be a confidence/friendship anthem, but the focus on the concept of wealth and the power it has over others is ridiculous. She constantly references lavish ways to spend her money, such as “I bought a crib just for the closet.” Grande goes on to say, “Whoever said money can't solve your problems/Must not have had enough money to solve 'em.” Compared to her promises of a vulnerable, honest album, this single is a far cry from that. At least base a confidence-boosting track in what can substantially create personal fulfillment rather than the allure and power of money. Is this what we should be teaching young music consumers/fans? That money equals confidence and satisfaction?
Worse than the destructive message of the song, her blatant appropriation of black culture goes against her ideals as a feminist. Ariana been criticized in the past for using Japanese characters as part of the promotion for her single “imagine” and now she’s back at it again, but instead with black culture. Her imitation of 2 Chainz’s Pink Trap House isn’t in her sphere of influence. As writer Brooklyn White stated in a Hello Giggles article, “Frankly, it is not within Ariana Grande’s range to change that narrative since she has no experience with that lifestyle.” Her video for 7 Rings is reminiscent of videos that have also appropriated black culture, yet Grande’s facing no consequences.
Written by Tatum Jenkins
Edited by Hannah Schneider